#WeekendCoffeeShare–Thailand, the First Few Days Edition

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you all about how happy I am to be here sharing some coffee with you today.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how exhausting this week has been. After my last day at work on Sunday (which went really well, even though it was very bittersweet), I spent Monday and Tuesday finishing up  some last minute shopping and packing. Then. Wednesday.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about my exhausting travel experience that began Wednesday at 12:11 Central Standard Time, when my flight from Minneapolis to Chicago took off. From Chicago, I flew to Hong Kong–where I had an exhausting 11 hour layover. I barely slept at all and I wrote this rather unenthused post. Then. Finally, I boarded the plane for Chiang Mai, and before I knew it I was in Thailand.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how rough these first few days have been. I live in what is possibly one of the most beautiful countries in the world and I haven’t been able to properly enjoy it because culture shock hit me so hard pretty much immediately upon arrival.

A combination of exhaustion and the heat (holy hell is it humid here) combined with how different the culture is here and how I feel utterly helpless when trying to communicate with the Thai people. I know I’m coming here to teach English and I do want to make an effort to communicate well with the people here, but all the stress and exhaustion that’s accumulated within the last few days has made that so difficult to even try to do so far.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I spent the whole morning crying today. I was awake at 6:00 and was going to be productive, but I just couldn’t. And I’m glad. I’m glad I got all those emotions out. I needed to let it all go. The smallest thing would make me cry–a message from someone back home, even thinking about something from back home–and that break down was something I needed. After my cry, I went back to bed until noon and when I woke up, I felt so much better. My roommate and I went to get food and we met up with some other fellow teachers while eating. I don’t feel 100% yet, and I think that will take time given that so much has happened in the last few days and I am going through culture shock, but it’s going to get better. I know it.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that so far, all my fellow teachers are amazing. I think we will end up being a really great group (there are 60 of us in the training course, so lots of people to get to know). I’m so glad I have these people for support and I think things will start to look majorly up once the training course starts tomorrow. Having some structure will definitely help in getting used to this environment.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how much I’ve missed all of you the last few days. I just got internet on my computer since the log in cards the hotel gave us are only good for one device–I had connected my phone with the first log in card I was give on Friday, when I arrived here, and just got another log in card for my computer today…so NOW I CAN BLOG!!!

If we were having coffee, I’d be dying to hear about your week. Please share. I miss you all so much. Really.

This post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share link up at Part Time Monster.

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35 Replies to “#WeekendCoffeeShare–Thailand, the First Few Days Edition”

  1. Jet lag and culture shock: I am sure it will take a little while to get back to normal, or at least come to the new normal in a new country. I’m also sure you are going to love it. I don’t know how much I’d enjoy the heat and humidity, but that’s just me;)

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    1. Things are already look better, Trent. My training course has been keeping me busy and I’ve met so many awesome people so far. I think I’ll have trouble finding introvert time in the coming month, but otherwise, life has been good these last couple days.

      The humidity is CERTAINLY something to get used to. I’ve just accepted that I’ll be sweating all the live long day and night.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad it’s getting better. Actually sounds great. I’m sure you’ll find a way to squeeze a little “introvert time” in, even if it is just while walking to and from places by yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Britta hun, I hear you! It can be such a lonely and isolating experience when you travel to somewhere so different. But you have your fellow teachers around you now and you will make new friends since you’re such a lovely and caring person. I wish I was having a coffee with you right now. Although I really don’t miss the heat and humidity!!! I think you can get Movenpick ice cream in Chiang Mai – trust me, it really helps!! If you really want to hear about my week, I went to Sydney for work and met up with my dearest friend while I was there. We haven’t seen each other in over two months and this time we got to hang out like old times. Unfortunately he was going through something bad at the same time but I am so so glad that I could be there for him when he needed me. It’s Sunday night here and we’ve spent the whole weekend getting my house ready – tomorrow they do the evaluation and then it goes up for sale – eek!!! Enough rambling from me now Britta – thanks so much for sharing your week with us, I missed you too, and am sending hugs to you and am hoping you’re having fun very soon xx.

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    1. Thank you so much, Desley. 🙂 🙂
      Things are looking much better now. My training course is keeping me so busy and I have SOOO much to blog about but like, no time to do so. I’m also meeting a lot of AWESOME people and this experience has already been truly life changing and it’s just starting.
      Oh my goodness, the heat and humidity is something else. I’m sweating all over as I write this. I’m sweating all the time. It never ends! But Chiang Mai is a beautiful city and I can’t wait to get my placement and explore another part of Thailand.

      I’m glad you were able to meet up with your friend, even if he was going through a bit of a rough time. No worries about rambling.

      Maybe sometime soon we’ll actually be able to meet up for coffee for real. I’d love to travel to Australia while I’m on this side of the world…but we’ll see what happens!

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  3. Great that you’re posting your adventures in Thailand. Granted, the first few days are hard, but you’ll soon adapt and it’ll be smooth sailing from there! Good luck with your teaching job! 🙂

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    1. I’m definitely adapting and though I’m quite sure the culture shock isn’t over, I’m much better off than I was when I wrote this post.

      I have like, no time to blog right now, but hopefully more Thailand posts will be coming soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh goodness—you’ve had a stressful week! Even when changes are good and give us more opportunities, they can be trying; and moving to a foreign country is definitely a huge change. I’m glad to hear that you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to connect with new folks but also to feel the emotions of being in a new place. Hope your first day of training goes smashingly, and looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.

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    1. Moving to a foreign country is definitely a huge change. I’m in a much better place than I was when I wrote this post and I definitely just have to accept these feelings as they come.

      Training is going wonderfully and I love all my fellow teachers. Such a kind and fun and overall wonderful group.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad to hear that you made it to Thailand in one piece and am glad to see you back on the blogosphere! Your pictures are stunning! The first few weeks in a new country are rough–culture shock can be a brutal experience. It’s almost a good thing, though, that you’re experiencing it right away. It can be a long process and it definitely goes in waves, but it does end. You can do it!! My week has been crazy busy–we’ve reached the peak of orchards season and the work never ends. But busy is good it keeps me occupied. I’m getting ready to move on, though. I have no idea what to do or where to go once my job ends in November, but when the time to move comes, I’ll be ready!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello from Thailand, Amelia! Getting back in the blogosphere is NOT going to be easy in this next month. I can definitely tell I’ve entered an extrovert phase with this training course. Training is going wonderfully and I want to spend all my down time with my fellow teachers! But, I digress, it’s so lovely to hear from everyone in the blogsosphere, too, and I love that you are all following my journey. 🙂
      I’m doing much better now than when I wrote this post and though I know the culture shock isn’t over, I’m feeling much better overall.

      I can’t wait to hear about where your adventure takes you next! Its been fun to follow your time at your families orchard this summer, but I totally get that need to move on.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Britta, you’re there and you’ve gotten out the emotions, now enjoy! Log everything that you see, feel and do. I can see a great little e-book in the making of your experiences as a teacher there! Can’t wait to read more and see more photos! Cheers to your new life!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Terri! If I could ever find time to blog/write. This month is going to be crazy busy and I’m finding that I want to spend all my down time with my fellow teachers.

      I cant wait to share! It’s so exciting that you are all following my journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so living vicariously through your Thailand adventures! I know that it will be an amazing journey in self discovery. And I look forward to all of your stories about the students who you will help in learning a new language. Sending you huge hugs from New York and I’m glad the world is so small 🙂

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  8. Hello my dear Britta! I’m glad you are safe and well. Crying is good. Let it out and don’t bottle it in. I’m sure there will be more crying in the future as homesickness can suddenly hit you out of nowhere. I’ve been there before. But you are strong and independent and fierce. You bravely left your comfy and familiar world to a strange, scary and completely different one to be able to teach and help young kids. You can easily do that here in the states. Why leave? Because you want to make a difference and have a grand adventure at that too. Because you don’t need an explanation to anyone. It’s your life. And thats what matters. I was culture shocked when I first came here too. I can just imagine yours. You will learn to embrace it eventually. 🙂 And before you know it, it will be like second nature to you and sawadee kha will just flow out easily. Here’s a great big online hug from me! Take care lots!

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    1. Thank you Belle. I’m in a much better place now than when I wrote this post and I’m constantly reminded of why I need this new life of mine.

      We are doing much of our training at a Thai school and seeing those children welcome us to their school yesterday–it was overwhelming and honestly, beautiful. I cannot wait to enter the classroom and work with Thai children on a regular basis.

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  9. You have such a great attitude and perspective! I am so glad you allowed yourself the release of emotions. The sensory overload you must be going through is mind boggling. Thank you for taking the time to share with those of us that are following your adventures. I’m sure your plate is quite full right now.

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    1. Thank you so much! My plate is quite full right now. Blogging is hard and keeping up with everyone else in the blogosphere is even harder. But I’m having the time of my life. I’m really finding out how special this country is. It’s amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Glad to hear you made it safely!! Those photos are gorgeous 🙂 I’m so excited for you!! I’m sure it will all be worth it, but sending big hugs for the bad days. It’s a big scary adjustment, I went for only 10 days to Japan last year and totally get what you mean about the humidity and culture shock!! Life is so different everywhere on this beautiful Earth. But aren’t we so lucky when we get to see so much? 🙂 Xx

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    1. Life is so different but we’re all human and despite our differences, we are all quite similar in the end, right?
      I’m doing much better now and my training course has been awesome. I’m sure there will be plenty of bad days in the future, though. Thanks Mandii. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I can already picture what posts will look like when you hit your stride and feel more at home. there’s sadness and culture shock but I still see incredible bravery over it all. If we were having coffee, I’d tell you how sleepy I am and how people walk in and out of our lives in just the right time to help us try and make sense of it all.

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    1. I’m excited to reach that point, too, though it will take a while. Things are much better now but I’m so engrossed in my TESOL course right now to be certified as an ESL teacher that I feel like I’ve been in this huge bubble isolated from the culture.

      Also, I completely agree. It’s one of the reasons humanity is so beautiful.

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  12. I’m glad to see from the comments section that things are already improving. You are right, there will be more bad days in the future so gentle with yourself and remember it takes time to adapt to such a big life change. Eventually, the good days will far outweigh the bad. I am glad that you are making friends with your fellow teachers.

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    1. I fully expect more difficult days in the near future, especially once I am placed in the town where my school is and I’m far away from all my new teacher friends. But it will all be worth it in the end and I will learn so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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